Spring: Your fit­ness GUIDE

Great Health Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Words Kat Mil­lar De­sign Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Clear blue skies, the sun on your back; the smell of a new sea­son is just around the cor­ner!

It’s nearly time to lunge into spring: to re­place your long-sleeved clothes with shorts and sin­glets. What a great feel­ing! Some peo­ple find it easy to ex­er­cise all year round, re­gard­less of the weather. Other peo­ple find it harder to get mo­ti­vated to ex­er­cise be­cause of the cold. If you are one of the lat­ter, then this ar­ti­cle is for you.

To­day is a new day – a new op­por­tu­nity to make the right choices that will take us to the body, the health, the fit­ness and the life that we want. A new sea­son is a great new chance to re­assess where we’re at and de­cide what we want to do in the fu­ture.

HERE ARE THREE THINGS TO CON­SIDER WHEN PRE­PAR­ING FOR SPRING: 1. New gear.

When was the last time you in­vested in a new train­ing sin­glet? A pair of great-fit­ting shorts? When you treat your­self to new out­door work­out gear, to train in style and com­fort, you’ll be more mo­ti­vated to get mov­ing.

How about a new pair of train­ing shoes? One tip on buy­ing new shoes: buy them in the af­ter­noon af­ter you’ve spent some time walking through­out the day. Your feet ‘spread’ dur­ing the day and if you buy shoes in the morn­ing, you’ll prob­a­bly find they’ll be too tight for you.

2. New Mu­sic.

When did you last get a new mu­sic playlist? It’s so mo­ti­vat­ing when you have new mu­sic to look for­ward to. We hu­mans have a deep need for va­ri­ety in our lives and if we don’t sat­isfy it, we can lose mo­ti­va­tion.

New mu­sic is one way to in­ject some more en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm into your mind­set when it comes to want­ing to ex­er­cise. I re­mem­ber de­sign­ing a new playlist for a 10km char­ity run I did and it helped me so much – not just with mo­ti­va­tion but to­tal en­joy­ment!

3. New Ac­tion Goals.

A new sea­son is a great time to re­flect on what you what next. Have you set any new goals re­cently? Or do you just have old stale ones. Goal set­ting still a hugely over-looked fac­tor in in­creas­ing mo­ti­va­tion and pur­pose in your train­ing and life. Many peo­ple keep their goals too gen­eral and un­mea­sur­able, such as ‘Get stronger’ or ‘Get fit­ter’. Take this a step fur­ther by de­cid­ing on some spe­cific goals – things you will do – to ob­tain this out­come.

Ac­tion goals are things that you need to DO (per­form, act upon) to GET the out­come that you ul­ti­mately want. Hav­ing ac­tion goals in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of our train­ing, helps us stay mo­ti­vated and see con­tin­ued progress. Ac­tion goals have a time-frame. An easy way to make the idea of ex­er­cise more ex­cit­ing and mo­ti­vat­ing, is to cre­ate a new plan for the en­tire next sea­son.

HERE’S A 12-WEEK GUIDE­LINE: Week 1:

• As­sess­ment week. Record weights lifted, reps per­formed or dis­tance trav­elled for 3-5 dif­fer­ent ex­er­cises.

• Set a goal to in­crease weights, sets, reps or dis­tance by a set num­ber for the 3 dif­fer­ent ex­er­cises.

• Choose a re­ward for com­plet­ing your 4-week goals.

• De­sign a new train­ing plan or ideally, have an ex­er­cise pro­fes­sional de­sign one for you. En­sure that it is well-bal­anced.

• Train hard for 4 weeks, fo­cus­ing on small in­cre­ments every work­out.

Week 5 to 11: Re­peat above.

Week 12: Cel­e­brate. Re­ward your­self! Then re­assess for the next 12 weeks.

EX­AM­PLES OF WEEKLY DE­SIGN: Week 1:

• Push ups – 12

• Run – 3.6km in 30 min­utes

• Squat – 25kg bar for 10 reps

Goal by week 4:

• Push ups – 18

• Run – 4km in 30 min­utes

• Squat – 32.5kg bar for 10 reps

Set­ting ac­tion goals for ex­er­cise in some ways is ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and trial and er­ror, be­cause we all im­prove at dif­fer­ent rates.

Some peo­ple will achieve their goals sooner, some later, but re­mem­ber your time­line is just a ‘bench­mark’. It’s more im­por­tant to have con­sis­tency and con­stant im­prove­ment. If you can do more in­ten­sity, reps, sets, time or dis­tance with good tech­nique, do more. If you are push­ing your lim­its and not quite get­ting the num­bers that you want, ad­just your goal and carry on.

HOW TO PUT IT ALL TO­GETHER.

• Write down the 3-5 parts of your body that you would like to im­prove and pick an ex­er­cise that are ap­pro­pri­ate for each. Or you may wish to write down 3 ex­er­cises you want to im­prove on in­stead.

• Write down dates, num­bers and goals. I sug­gest us­ing a spread­sheet with the ex­er­cises down the left col­umn and dates across the rows at the top.

• Keep a train­ing log and record your im­prove­ments. You will find it hugely mo­ti­vat­ing to see the in­creases!

Kat Mil­lar owns Get Re­sults Train­ing, ded­i­cated to help­ing peo­ple trans­form their health, mind & body. Since 2003, Kat has helped thou­sands of peo­ple achieve their goals. She’s a coach, speaker, award­win­ning fig­ure com­peti­tor, fit­ness lec­turer & NLP prac­ti­tioner. Her pas­sion helps peo­ple achieve life-chang­ing re­sults & ful­fill­ment, with a range of pro­grams for holis­tic health & body trans­for­ma­tion. Con­tact via Kat’s web­site or Face­book

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